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Old 01-09-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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Yes. How you measure your flour can make a big difference. I just did a test.

I dipped a scoop of flour straight from the canister, and it weighed 4.5 ounces.
Then I stirred my flour to lighten it, and dipped. It weighed 4.25 ounces.
Then I gently spooned the flour into the scoop, and it weighed 4 ounces.
Then I sifted it first, then spooned it, and it weighed 3.5 ounces.
Those are some big differences. And different recipes are based on different methods.
As for sifting, if the recipe says, "1 cup of sifted flour", you sift first then measure. If it says, "1 cup of flour, sifted", you measure first then sift.

Like you, I live on the Gulf coast, so we have some humidity. It's warm enough here that my windows are open. All of these things make a difference in the measurement of the flour. My test above was done with KA all-purpose flour. If I had used cake flour, it all would have been lighter.

Too much flour is one thing that can make a cake dense, which is why you have to be consistent. The usual method is to stir up your flour to unpack any settling, then spoon it into the measuring cup. Use a knife to level it off.

But the best way is to get a scale and weigh it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Are you sifting the flour first? Sift and then measure.
That's what I was taught in home ec. I was also taught to carefully run a knife through the flour, before levelling with the knife, to make sure there weren't any air pockets.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #13
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Good post, Silversage.

If you read the nutrition label on the flour bag, it will tell you under serving size something like: Serving size 1/4 cup (30 grams). So you know from this that a cup of flour should weigh 120 grams or 4 1/4 ounces. (28.35 grams to the ounce)
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Good post, Silversage.

If you read the nutrition label on the flour bag, it will tell you under serving size something like: Serving size 1/4 cup (30 grams). So you know from this that a cup of flour should weigh 120 grams or 4 1/4 ounces. (28.35 grams to the ounce)
Jeez, why didn't I think of that? That's a great way to do the conversions. I bought an electronic scale and have fun using it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:22 PM   #15
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Scratch cakes can be tricky, especially yellow butter cakes. From the advise above, measuring is crucial, I always go by weight.

Here are a couple of recipes that use what is called the "paste method" I have found that they produce a fluffier texture than most scratch cakes and are nice and moist. The method is different that the creaming method and is now my method of choice.

All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake Recipe at Epicurious.com

Tender White Cake: King Arthur Flour
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #16
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thank you all for your input. I can't wait to bake the next cake. I'm getting a scale before i do. Cakes are a whole lot trickier than pies. I hope to be as good at it as i am with pies...

I usually don't sift unless the recipes call for it. I hadn't stuck to one recipe because i'm still searching for the one that works for me...

I have printed the recipes posted. I'll try those next. thanks much!!
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